The Westies Are Coming to the Memorial Opera House!

By: Memorial Opera House Last Updated: July 10, 2014

westiesSHARE THE ARTS, INSPIRE A FRIEND! This weekend, the Memorial Opera House becomes the MUSICAL MECCA of Northwest Indiana!

This is a benefit concert for Respite House - a halfway house for men seeking recovery. Respite House opened in Valparaiso, Indiana in December 2009. A collaborative effort motivated by volunteers who recognized our need. The initial cost of purchase and renovation was financed by the Porter County Council and County Commissioners.

As a 501(C)(3) charitable organization, operation of Respite House is completely funded through resident service fees, grants and donations. Respite House has become a focal point for recovery from the disease of addiction and alcoholism in Porter County. This effort is an example of how our community has come together to address the issue of addiction which affects all aspects of our quality of life. Additional information is available at

The Westies made their live debut in the summer of 2013 following a casual recording session that took place in Nashville the winter before. Armed with a thematic collection of new songs, songwriter Michael McDermott, gathered some friends together and enlisted Lex Price (K.D. Lang, Mindy Smith, Peter Bradley Adams) to produce and play on the recordings.

The band introduced their Americana-flavored sound to Chicago hometown audiences via back to back sold out shows at City Winery, an appearance at American Music Festival at FitzGerald's and a few other local gigs. The reaction was so strong that McDermott and the band quickly decided to make it more than a side project.

The Westies are a band that unabashedly confronts the trials of the inner city heart with a slow burn delicacy juxtaposing uncomfortable subjects with a tender and elegant beauty that is rare in the current music landscape.
"I write what I know, and much of what I know, isn't pretty," drawing from his personal life, McDermott continues, "All I ever wanted to do was write songs and tell stories, like my grandparents and parents did from a long Irish lineage. With that lineage came a proclivity for drink, for mayhem, and a wee bit of crime. It's a fire that took some time to temper."

The Westies are Michael McDermott (Vocals, Guitar, Songs) and Heather Horton (Fiddle, Vocals) and a collective of band mates that include: John Pirruccelo (Pedal, Lap, Mandolin, Guitars), Robert Dicke (Drums), Dan Ingenthron (Bass, Keys), Chris Merrill (Bass), and Danny Mitchell (Piano).

For more information, or to purchase tickets, just go to this link: